I am going way back in history for this week's column because I want to share several of my "new" postcards that I mentioned in last week's column. I am choosing the first one because there is quite a story to go with the Shindler Drug Store building at right (now the home of Winter River Books). Although I do not know my cars, they look pretty vintage to me, so I am guessing the picture was taken in the late 1940s or early '50s.
While going through my 1938 Western Worlds, of which I have a full set, I found an unusual article ... written in red on the top margin above the masthead titled "Spectacular Robbery."
Apparently it occurred too late to make the main body of the paper but somehow my grandfather got it into the paper anyway, with a big follow-up story the next week.
Here's what the article said: "Two robbers entered the O.C. Shindler home at 8:30 Wednesday night (Aug. 31, 1938). At gun point they bound and gagged Mr. and Mrs. Shindler and learning there was a son at the show called up to find what time the show would be out. Shortly before 10:00, with an accomplice outside, one took Shindler to his drug store and forced him to open the safe from which they took about $200. From there they drove to the theater and waited for the son. With father and son they drove to a deserted house at 11th and Elmira and put a rifle and a 'Tommy gun' in the car. Returning to the house, where one of the two who first entered the home had remained with Mrs. Shindler, they bound all three and made their escape in the Shindler car. It took nearly a half hour for the victims to release themselves. The robbers had cut the telephone wire leading from the house, so state police could not be reached for nearly an hour after the robbers fled."
That definitely was not the end of the story, but it's too long to reprint here. There ended up being three robbers and the third one must have been the one standing watch outside the Shindler home.
I will say that the robbers tried to go to Myrtle Point over Lampa Mountain, but the road was not open and the car (belonging to Shindlers) got stuck, so they fled on foot. One of the robbers entered the Cecil Hartley home in Pleasant Valley where he bound Hartley, 28, his wife, 25, and their son, 5, after taking only food and cooking utensils. "He displayed the same gentleness shown in the Shindler episode, handing back Hartley's wallet without taking any money, also giving him his car keys. He played 'policeman and robber' with the boy in order to get the lad to consent to be tied up."
Two of them were arrested in separate incidents in the Arago area that weekend. One had been wounded in the foot by an accidental discharge of his own gun shortly before the Bandon robbery. He was found in the Peterson brothers dairy barn between Arago and Myrtle Point.
It was later learned that the three men had escaped from the Pocatello, Idaho, county jail a month earlier.
The second picture is a great one of the U.S. Post Office on Baltimore, where Foley's Irish Pub is now located. The building was erected in October of 1952 especially for the post office, situated between Croxall & Perry Grocery (now Dave's Radio & TV) and Panter Feed Store (now The Big Wheel). The building was owned by Kronenberg (George) & Waldrop (Eddie) and cost $10,500 to build.
My sisters and I were in Foley's for lunch Sunday, and we could still remember where our post office box (571) was located, along the north wall of the elongated area south of the kitchen and west of the main dining area. It seems like yesterday that Postmaster Jack Wade, assistant postmaster Caroline McDiarmid and later Postmaster Jack Ward, were handing us our mail . . .
The third picture I am sharing is not dated, but the sign shows that the post office was in the Stephan Hotel building (now Cranberry Sweets) before the "new" post office was built in 1952. This is one of the few buildings to survive the Bandon Fire of 1936 because it was a concrete building.
Next door you can see a great picture of what was then, or would become, Bandon Plumbing and later the home of Bandon Fisheries. Since I can't pinpoint the date, I am not sure which business was in the building when this picture was taken. Today it belongs to Sunny and Gary Chang, who own The Wheelhouse and Crow's Nest.
I believe the post office dispensed mail immediately after the fire out of the Bob-Otto Court (where the Shell station is located today) and later at the Coast Lumber Yard, probably before they moved into this building. Dow Beckham's history book remembers it a bit differently, saying that after it was in the Stephan Building, they moved to the Coast Lumber building. I do not think that is correct, but maybe they were in that building on two separate occasions.
I do know that in another part of Beckham's book he lists one of the buildings as having been destroyed in the Fire as the Western World. Since I have many of my grandfather's records and at least a hundred old papers from the '30s, I know for a fact that the Western World was not destroyed, and I believe it was a little over a week and they were back in business. For certain, the building was not destroyed as it still stands today, and is known as the Masonic Building, housing The Cobbler's Bench and Spirit of Oregon on the bottom floor, and the lodge upstairs.
There is no better way to verify "history" than to read the original papers from a certain date. There may be a typo or two ... but the data is accurate. It's the old postcards and photos, without dates, that cause me the most problem.
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I missed visiting with Miss Oregon USA when she appeared at the Old Town Marketplace Saturday, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus, because I was watching the Oregon Ducks bomb their way through the Las Vegas Bowl. It was a terrible game for the Ducks, and had the defensive unit not stepped up twice, it probably would have been a shut-out for Boise State, who is now 3-0 against Oregon.
The pundits, especially The Oregonian's John Canzano, were anything but kind to the Ducks and their new head coach, and I am sure this is one season that we would all just as soon forget.
I would rather have seen Santa . . . and Miss Oregon USA.
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My file keeps getting thicker on pit bulls who kill their owners or others. The latest occurred in the state of Virginia when a 22-year-old woman was apparently mauled to death by her own dogs, described as pit bulls. Her body was found in a wooded area of Goochland, Va., with wounds on her hands, arm, throat and face consistent with a mauling ... and when her father found her, the dogs were standing watch over her body.
The Sheriff said that in his 40 years of law enforcement, he had never seen anything quite like it. The sheriff's office will look to euthanize the dogs, according to the article.
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I received an email from one of my former Bandon High School teachers, Lloyd "Gabe" Gabriel, who just celebrated his 96th birthday on Dec. 2. He taught social studies and his wife Ruth taught home economics, after coming to Bandon in 1956. After teaching here for only a couple of years, they moved, and in recent years have been living in Washington state. Lloyd is still Commander of their Ex-POW department but he said their numbers are getting smaller each year.
It's always fun to hear from someone out of the past. He was a great teacher and I always loved his class. I will never forget when he was telling us a story about his prisoner of war days, and he mentioned a "latrine." I was a senior in high school, but I did not know what that meant. Rather than keep my mouth closed and look it up, I blurted out "Mr. Gabriel, what is a latrine?" And the laughter ensued ....
I know John Gamble (Class of 1958) still hears from him, but I am not sure how many others he is still in touch with.
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I was sad to learn that our long-time administrative assistant Bev Lanier died Dec. 11 in St. Louis, Mo. She had not been well for quite some time, and after suffering a stroke last spring, she had not been able to return to her Bandon home to live.
Her husband, Rick, preceded her in death. She had two sons of her own and also helped raise Rick's daughter and her children.
Bev was a great worker, and we really missed her when she retired several years ago.
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I know it's late too mention it, but I still have four great 12x36" panoramic photos of old Bandon, including a dynamite picture of Moore Mill & Lumber Co. Another shows the industrial buildings on the old dock, including the Standard Oil plant, while another is a different view of the mill, and part of the old Moore Mill Truck Shop. The fourth is the Port of Bandon tug at the old dock with the truck shop prominently in the background. They are $100. I still have a couple of my best 16x20 canvas prints of the beach and lighthouse, which are also $100. If anyone wants to look at one of them, I would be glad to show you. And I do still have a few of the books I have published from the old pictures that I have shared in my column. Call me at 541-404-7291 if you're interested or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.